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Is this bindweed, or something else?

NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,625

Its been popping up in my newish raised veg beds for a year or two now, roots are incredibly long so no matter how deep I dig I never get to the end of them (so much for my no dig policy). I never let it get big enough to flower but that doesn’t help with ID!

Can anyone tell me what it is and give me some advice on how to deal with it? 




  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    Yes, bindweed.  It wouldn't be a good idea to use a herbicide in a veg plot, so you're pretty much stuck with constantly pulling it up.  That will weaken it and it will eventually die, as long as you keep at it.  I wouldn't bother digging any more out as every little broken piece of root left in the soil will develop into a new plant.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,625
    Bummer, I suspected as much. Thanks for the advice BTG. When stuff is growing I use a long weed tool thingy to get out as much as possible of the root, but will stop trying and failing to dig it out before I plant. I garden organically so herbicide is a no no.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,899
    Nollie said:
    (so much for my no dig policy). 

    I feel you.. this year was my first year completely digging over my two four year no-dig beds, searching for bind weed and couch grass roots.  

    Mine is coming up from the grass surrounding my beds, sending runners a foot into my veg patch from underground.  Do you have grass or mulch/woodchips/etc around your beds?  I know I am never going to eradicate it, as it will keep coming in regardless of how far I dig within the beds, so I resort to an occasional selective glyphosate application in my otherwise organic garden bed if a particular patch is extremely persistent.  Mainly I just dig with a trowel and pull out what I can.  
    Utah, USA.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,625
    Hi @Blue Onion it is a pernicious blighter, sympathy back at you :/  but now I have bothered to find out what it is, at least I know I’m it it for the long haul, oh joy!

    I have 60cm wide bare earth paths around the 6 beds that I have to hoe regularly, but yes I am sure some is from under the paths as a fair amount of the bindweed is coming up around the edges of the beds.

    I would eventually like to lay weed matting and then pavers around, but I guess it won’t stop the stuff rearing it’s ugly head in the beds anyway.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,899
    edited May 2018
    I think you could get rid of it, especially once you have the pavers down, but it will require spraying them.  I only spray (selectively) in the fall, after the veg has all been harvested and the bindweed rear their ugly heads up above the leaf/grass mulch I've covered the beds in.  My idea is that the glysophate will have 'broken' down well before I plant and grow anything.  Not organic, obviously, but better than giving up the garden to the weeds.  As you'll have the ground covered around outside, it will probably only take a few fall spray sessions to seriously weaken them.. so that you could eradicate them with persistence.  Bindweed is not horsetail.. there is hope!
    Utah, USA.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,625
    Sounds like a plan, but I do grow lots of salads and plan to try brassicas over winter so there would only be a couple of fallow beds to spray..worth a shot, thanks for the glimmer of hope!

    Not sure when I am going to be able to afford the pavers tho, next year is OH’s 60th and all funds now being allocated for big catered party, live band, folks to be put up and fed, marquee, bunting and all the other not unreasonable at all things being demanded...
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,899
    How about decorated pavers as part of the celebration for OH?  Preorder all you need, provide mosaic material, and set everyone to work.  :D

    Utah, USA.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,625
    That’s certainly colourful! Given the amount of champagne that will be necked I would imagine some ‘interesting’ results would ensue :)
  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 376
    there seems to be wealth of experience above me in this thread, but i just want to add it doesn't look like bindweed I have (been fighting it for years)....

    the leaves I see are more heart shaped, the stem more red and twiny.

    this image (quick google) looks exactly like what i 'n' all when i don't know it's there.

    although the root you show in your picture..that looks threatening!  perhaps just a different variety of bindweed.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,625
    Hmm, interesting, the leaves are sort of heart-shaped but I must admit the roots don’t look quite the same as those in your link UpNorth...
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